Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs celebrated End-of-Season(!) with a visit to the Ross Harriers.
The day started with an hour-long conversation with Huntsman Lee Peters (some interesting stuff there re: badger digging, human overpopulation and which sab groups to avoid if we don’t want to get hurt as well…) followed by their midday meet at the Tump Inn in Wormelow.
Paul Standen and his mate “Jack” arrived on their quad to sit in front of our van (but wasn’t quite quick enough on the ignition when we drove off behind him… sorry Paul!) and our 2 vehicles (and 6 sabs) split once they began to cover the hunt from 2 sides.
Needless to say, end-of-season madness did kick in as the day progressed. Staying in a rather small area, the hunt picked up on (and lost) a number of hares, some of whom escaped with no help, other chases we managed to intervene with to give the hares a few extra seconds to get away. A fox was run to ground in a badger sett which was blocked up and there was a lot of holloaing, pointing and not-so-sneaky radio-use.
Following a couple of angry farmers and a tractor, a sab in a hedge, Lee Peters “accidentally” almost riding a sab over (with some interesting use of a whip) and a bottle of engine oil thrown over the van windscreen and into the face of the driver and passenger, a hunt supporter attempted to enter the van and a sab was pushed over the bonnet with an older gentleman threatened by another.
Supporters seemed to want 2 things: the male sab to start a fight and to intimidate the women. They got neither. This report makes it sound far more eventful than it feels in our memories…
Investigations are pending.
An evening in A&E looking greasy and a night in a police station (still a bit greasy) followed by a bag of greasy chips meant 3C arrived home around 4.30am – our EOS celebration cup of tea ended up being a quickly-downed cup of chamomile in bed. Stylish!
We say goodbye to the ever-lively Danny Burton (son of ‘Stephen’ who you may find at the Hursley Hambledon drinking coffee) who leaves us to go be a kennelman in Hampshire and who is sad that he will have to work even when the hounds are out hunting. Our hearts bleed for you Danny Look out for his face in the county.
It was a pleasure to have Bristol out with us on Saturday and Lee Peters did not seem happy. Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs ran into him outside the kennels and, despite some dangerous driving and illegal road blocks, our little car managed to keep up with him all the way to the meet.
Our 2 pairs of foot-sabs were in an out of the vehicles all day, with one managing to avoid the 2 incidents that took place throughout the day and helping a couple of hares that sprinted past.
The ever-charming Lee did not seem best pleased at last week’s video of his hounds chasing the fox and his supporters (who usually check out this page quite regularly) claimed not to have seen it.
Solidarity and love to all the groups who were attacked and hurt this last weekend (or indeed before then!) It’s end-of-season madness time…
and from Bristol Hunt Saboteurs
A return visit to the charming Ross Harriers today, who were hunting just outside of Much Marcle. Their huntsman, Lee Peters, burst a few blood vessels upon our arrival looking angry even by his standards.
After lots of personal threats and some dicking around by some of the followers, he moved off with us close behind. Hares were put up all over the place with him encouraging his hounds on, with complete disregard of the law.
Sabs found themselves in a perfect position when hounds went into cry, only seconds behind a hare. With the use of citronella sprays and whips, sabs ensured that the hare got away to safety. This only added to the frustration of Peters who tried riding sabs down as a response.
Catching up with the hunt again we witnessed the hounds actively chasing a hare with only a few feet between them. We were too far away to intervene but luckily the hare managed to slip away from the hounds. A truly horrifying moment.
As we approached the hunt they were surrounding our vehicles on a road. At this point one of the tyres got slashed on our land rover and then the Harriers spearheaded by Peters launched an all out attack on sabs from both the vehicles and in the field. One female Sab is currently in hospital with head injuries and multiple others came away with battered and bruised.
Just goes to show that when a hunt have a hard time trying to kill animals they turn their aggression elsewhere. It doesn’t bother us, as we get to go home in the safe knowledge that no animals were killed by The Ross Harriers.
As a couple of Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs headed over to Stratford for the anti-cull demo, a car-load of us headed out to the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt who were meeting at the Red Hart Inn in Blaisdon.
With no sign of hounds in the area, it looked like the rumours had been true and they were only going out for a “happy hack”. Luckily we had news of a Ross Harriers meet in nearby Drybrook, so decided to pay them a visit.
We found them drawing a covert in the sun and, with the scenting conditions not being great, it was no surprise that the hounds failed to pick up on a scent. It wasn’t long before we were spotted by Lee Peters himself who stopped for a long chat (while we’re chatting, he’s not hunting) before calling in his “boys”, getting a couple of riders to move their horses in the way of our car while he moved off.
One pair of foot-sabs got out of the car, following him on foot for some time. With the sun still strong and conditions not the best for scent to “stick”, the hounds drew a blank in most coverts Lee put them in.
Foot-sabs and car split up to cover both sides of a large piece of woodland on a hill in order to keep tabs on the hunt in the Deepdean area. As we were about to meet up, hounds started speaking in a large woodland by a valley, so two of us carried on inland, the others covering the road.
Both groups noticed (an attempt at) a holloa and pointing, followed by the group on the road radioing through that a fox was heading straight for the others. We were in a perfect position to act as the fox ran past, spraying citronella and rating the hounds, giving the tired fox valuable seconds to get away.
Mr Peters did not look best pleased when he next saw us, especially after we followed him into the land near to Home Farm (where the Cotswold Vale met a couple of weeks ago). Instead of having the police called on us (despite being on footpaths) like last time, we had a nice, short conversation with two of the people from the area who told us that the hunt “weren’t even supposed to be here” and said we were welcome to walk across the land as long as we didn’t damage anything. The hounds were soon gathered up and taken back to the road… where they picked up on another scent, losing it as one sab informed the others and they were able to get in the way of the hounds.
A short chat and a long hover by the junction of the road later and the hunt moved off again, all the boys (Luke, Danny, James and the other one) and, of course, Nick Hodges (terrierman from the Cotswold Vale) in tow. And Lee is always full of surprises – having made many phonecalls and had lots of little conflabs with his pals, a couple of the support vehicles blocking in our car repeatedly and a little bit of very-slightly-aggressive-but-not-that-scary riding at foot-sabs, the hunt headed back to the kennels earlier than anticipated.
As we write this, we are informed that the ever-charming Lee has been spotted outside of a well-known sab’s house, taking pictures of her… he had promised to do this (to “get his own back”) but not until summer. You’re a bit premature Lee! But at least we know he didn’t go back out after we left. Anyway, all in all a good day and not long left before even the Ross Harriers will pack up for the season.
If you can help us out in the last couple of weeks before they finish, share our reports and our gofundme (or paypal address if you’d prefer us to get more money!)
A car-load (almost) of Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs turned up to the church in Weston-under-Penyard today to see the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt and the South Hereford who were having a joint meet.
The day began with a lovely opening speech which included the vicar not blessing the hounds… and an unexpected visit from Lee Peters (Ross Harriers) and some of his chums (hi James, Danny and the other one!)
There’s a bit of a turf war going on between certain hunts (namely the Cotswold Vale and the Ross Harriers and the South Hereford and the Ross Harriers) and it would appear Lee only turned up to “piss off” the others. Having been introduced as “the antis” by the ever-charming Jason Warner, we took an opportunity to introduce Lee and his friends which ended with a lady confronting Mr. Peters about his “supporting the antis” and telling him how much she was disgusted by him and that he should not be in control of a pack of hounds.
Throughout the day the hunt drew a blank in pretty much every covert and woodland they went into, sabs staying with them until near the end. To be fair to the hunt, they did whip and call the hounds back when they noticed sabs running into a field to try and catch a lamb which had become separated from the rest of the flock (who were on the other side of a road in another field). But, then again, it wouldn’t be great publicity to have your hounds terrorise or kill livestock, so they probably wouldn’t want to run the risk. Plus they hadn’t told the landowner they were coming through, so…
Sabs were treated to a bit of on-the-spot farriery (not the sabs themselves!) and a nice bit of sunshine, so all in all, it was a pretty good day with no kills that we know of. Peters and co. however left earlier in the afternoon implying they were off to dig up some of our black and white friends, so who knows what’s going on in the countryside while we’re not looking.
Anyway, only a couple of weeks left until the end of season and, with a couple of the hunts in our area packing up weeks before they had been planning to, we’re still feeling pretty positive.
We attended Orcop today in Herefordshire to sab’ the Ross Harriers.
Lee Peters (master and huntsman) was clearly holloaing hounds on and made several dark comments such as “too late to save that one” in between making some ermm, rather flirtatious suggestions to sabs.
Lee was often out and about during the badger cull supporting shooters by trying to be a nuisance to badgerists.
Sabs were blocked and trapped constantly on the road and the day ended by being completely blocked with Lee and Paul trying to chat up sabs followed by someone’s bare bottom being pressed against the passenger window of the back of the car as a small child brandished a knife in front of us. All very surreal.
Reposted from The Hereford Heckler
The Ross Harriers hunt are in the media yet again this week with an article published claiming that the police are investigating an attack on their kennels, including the dumping of a dead dog on the huntsman’s driveway.
Police were called to the address in Coughton, near Ross-On-Wye last Tuesday, 19th March, to reports of criminal damage to a 4×4 belonging to the huntsman, David Lee Peters, and the death of his dog. In the article an ‘anonymous source close to the hunt’ suggests that the attack and murder of the dog was the work of animal rights activists. The initials ‘ALF’ (standing for Animal Liberation Front) were apparently scratched onto the vehicle and the source claimed that the dog was ‘beaten to death.’
Questions are already being raised about the validity of the claims, especially regarding the involvement of animal rights activists.
Firstly and most obviously, what motivation would activists associated with the animal rights movement have for harming a dog, let alone ‘beating it to death’ and leaving it on the huntsmans driveway? The pro-hunting community often slander animal activists as ‘people haters’ but whatever point the activists could have wanted to make, either about hunting or about Peters himself, would vegetarian and vegan protesters who commit themselves to ending all animal exploitation (often at the risk of injury or arrest) have done something so counterintuitive and opposed to their beliefs to make this comment? Given the obvious public backlash that would follow and the condemnation and even stronger backlash from the rest of the animal rights movement, we think not!
The ‘hunt source’ in the article heavily suggests that the ALF was responsible for the attack and attempts to explain who and what the ALF is. The Animal Liberation Front is a loose collection, or more accurately concept, often attributed to those who carry out non-violent direct action in defence of animals. Over its 40 year history the ALF has rescued (or ‘liberated’) hundreds of thousands of animals from places of cruelty and exploitation (including factory farms and animal experiment labs). It has also caused £millions of financial loss to those who profit from the exploitation of animals.
In the ALF aims and guidelines, which have to be clearly adherred to for the name to be used in a direct action, it is imperatively stated that activists should:
- Take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.
If this does not happen, then it quite simply is not an action of the ALF.
Vicious dog murderers or victims of a slander campaign? Hunt saboteurs play with foxhounds who are rarely shown affection, at the weekend.
Hunt saboteurs are also mentioned in the article, as they are often active in the region close to the kennels and have previously attended meets of the Ross Harriers Hunt. Again there is the suggestion that they may have be involved in the attack, or that they and the ALF are one-and-the-same.
Hunt saboteurs also use non-violent direct action to save hunted animals. They put themselves between the hunted animal and the hunters, using scent-dulling sprays and hunting horns to mimik the huntsman and call hounds away from the hunted animal.
In the 50 years that hunt saboteurs have been active, there have been all sorts of accusations made against them by the hunting fraternity; spraying hounds with battery acid, using trip-wires to trip up horses, even bringing pre-caught foxes along and releasing them in front of hounds to prove that hunts are illegally hunting – none of which have ever been proven.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association introduction literature clearly states that saboteurs should never harm or put animals at risk, whether they are the hunted animal or animals used by the hunt. This is seen as somewhat of a golden rule by hunt saboteurs and monitors. The press officer of the Hunt Saboteurs Association commented on the incident saying:
“We simply do not engage in or condone criminal damage or any attacks on animals,”
“We engage in legal disruption of illegal hunting and we had nothing to do with this whatsoever.
“It doesn’t sound like the sort of thing the ALF would do either, killing a dog. They have been known to steal an entire pack of hounds, but they wouldn’t harm one.”
In short the murder of this innocent animal (if that is indeed what happened) is obviously a heinous crime, something that animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs would also be extremely opposed to, whoever it belonged to.
Attack on saboteurs by members of the Ross Harriers hunt last year.
The Ross Harriers – not so squeaky clean
It seems that the media (including, unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail) are swallowing up yet another animal rights scare story, without looking any deeper and only giving a glancing reference to the recent history of this particular hunt.
The Heckler has reported on the Ross Harriers a number of times in the recent past. In October a supporter of the Harriers was also found guilty of assaulting a saboteur and around this time last year members of the hunt attacked the vehicle of anti-hunt protesters and some of its occupants with an iron bar. Hardly the track record of law-abiding, non-violent and decent human beings and certainly far from the image of ‘victims’ that they appear to have gained with some.
A ‘false flag’ attack?
So with it looking extremely unlikely that the people who carried out the murder of this dog were associated with hunt saboteurs or the animal rights movement and the previous bad behaviour of the hunt examined, who could have been responsible? A number of possible (and in our opinion much more likely) explanations for the attack and who carried it out have been raised online:
- It could be part of a smear campaign by the hunting community to slander hunt saboteurs and animal rights activists. Lee Peters is appealing his conviction of racially abusing a saboteur last year, and the retrial will be heard at Worcester Crown Court in the Summer. The media attention and police investigation would serve as a well timed attempt to gain public support for Peters and to discredit and put pressure on the activists who oppose him and who will presumably play a part in the case against him.
- It could have been committed by somebody with a personal gripe against Peters, or another rival, local hunt. There are often bitter rivalries over hunting territory, support and finances. The pro-hunting community have also been known to dump dead foxes at the houses of hunt opponents, have killed and injured pet animals (such as dogs) and have vandalised vehicles and houses. This sounds awfully similar to the type of attack described in the article, and the ‘antis’ would make for perfect cover for such an attack.
- It could have been proponents of the upcoming badger cull, which will take place in the area. The badger cull is conveniently mentioned in the article and by the hunt’s ‘anonymous source,’ without anything else suggesting that this alleged ‘ALF action’ had anything to do with the cull. By making it look like ‘animal rights extremists’ are operating in the area, the police would be forced to take more of an active interest in pursuing the animal rights activists who would oppose the cull.
- The ‘ALF’ attack on the vehicle could have been an action genuinely committed by animal rights activists, with the dog being dumped (or planted) by others afterwards – the dog either dying of natural causes and being made to look like it was killed, or being killed in a more sinister manner. Again this could serve to discredit the action and the activists, by giving a scapegoat for the death and turning the media attention to what the hunting community would portray as ‘hypocritical hunt opponents.’
It is not unheard of for such ‘false flag’ attacks to happen, after all. Back in 1990 an unheard of group called the ‘British Animal Rights Society’ claimed responsibility for having attached a nail bomb to a huntsman’s Land Rover in Somerset. Forensic evidence led police to arrest the owner of the vehicle, who admitted he had bombed his own car to discredit the animal rights movement. He was jailed for nine months.
Whoever the perpertrator of the alledged attack on the Ross Harriers kennels was, we think there is more to this story than meets the eye…
This repost has been edited. Link to original article here
Taken from the Hereford Heckler November 29th
“It seems that not a weekend goes by without a hunt getting negative press or showing their truly outrageous colours.
A couple of weeks ago we reported on the case of Lee Peters, the huntsman of the Ross Harriers Hunt, who was found guilty of racially abusing a hunt saboteur. Last week the Hereford Times also reported on he case, yesterday putting their story online.
Now this week, a graphic video has been released showing the hounds of the Ledbury Hunt killing a fox on Friday 13rd November.”
A Hunt Saboteurs Association press release on the horrendous incident said:
“Graphic footage of the Ledbury Hunt killing a fox has today been released. The incident happened on the 23rd November 2012 in a private garden in Eldersfield, Gloucestershire and was captured on film by members of Three Counties and Coventry Hunt saboteurs.
They were sadly too late to rescue the fox, but one did obtain film of the hounds repeatedly savaging the animal for a protracted period, whilst she and a colleague attempted to get the dogs off it. It is unclear at what point the fox succumbed to its multiple wounds, but when they were able to retrieve the animal from the pack it had been effectively disembowelled.
Footage of the kill, and from beforehand, is being examined by lawyers from the RSPCA to determine if there are grounds for prosecution under the Hunting Act. Results of a post-mortem are being withheld pending a decision.”
To take action against fox hunting, visit: